I took the bold step of buying the Meidjo binding in January 2015, when it was very new and relatively untried. I have been telemark skiing for nearly 30 years on conventional cable bindings and switched to the NTN Rotteffela freedom binding 3 yrs ago. I am 65kg and generally fairly easy on gear.
So what of the Meidjo? I really like this binding, but it does come with a few snags!
The binding is very light at 840g per pair, not including ski brakes when they become available, the front section is a fairly conventional tech toe, with a spring loaded plastic underfoot plate that engages the duckbut of the NTN boot. The tension of the springs is easily adjusted with two thumb screws. There is a separate heel piece with two different height heel raisers.
The binding is a true step in and for those used to engaging the tech toe it is very easy to get into. The conversion from ski to tour mode is also easy, but does require the ski to be removed from the boot.
From the skiing point of view I find it excellent, it is more active that most standard cable bindings and probably slightly less so than the Rottafella Freeride, more comparable to the Freedom.
It has a release system which although not DIN rated is easy to adjust and completely independent of the main spring tension. I have not had occasion for it to release, but it can be adjusted to be light enough to easily remove the boot by hand, so individuals should be able to find a release tension that they are happy with.
It is more than capable of driving big skiis, I have it on K2 Coombacks which are 102mm underfoot and they perform very well on these. The lateral stability is fantastic with the binding becoming active as soon as the heel is lifted.
If your style of telemarking is very low, this puts some sdditional strain on both the binding and the boot, but this can be largely overcome by putting a second spring into the spring box (supplied) and keeping the adjustment screw relatively loose.
From the touring point of view, they are the best telemark binding I have ever used. The Tech toe is optimised for NTN boots and it functions well. The earlier models (mine included) had some problems with the lock out mechanism not locking out, but this has been solved now.
The heel piece however is not great and the first raiser falls down very frequently which is a real pain. Again this has been the subject of a modification and is now apparently much better.
The above mentioned heel piece falling down while touring
Some people have had problems with the plastic piece that holds the springs breaking, which I have not, but again this is apparently fixed now.
The ski leash, which is supplied with the bindings, is useless. This was apparently made to have a breaking strain of about 80kg so it would break in the event of an avalanche, but mine broke on the first day and I nearly lost the ski. Resolved by fitting an aftermarket leash, and I am sure most people will fit ski brakes when they become available.
Snow packing, this binding like many others has some problems with snow packing where it shouldn’t, for me the most annoying area is in the clip that engages the duckbut which then means that you can’t get the binding to clip in properly, easily resolved with a plastic spatula or screwdriver, snow also gets in under the plastic foot bed, but again it is fairly easily cleared.
Lack of ski brakes and ski crampons are a problem at the moment but both will apparently be available for next season.
In summary, this is a great binding, it is expensive, but if you are thinking about going NTN, you have to give it serious consideration. I think that once the snags are sorted out it has the potential to revolutionise telemark skiing.
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Name: James Parker
No of years Telemarking: 30
Current Ski: K2 Coomback 104
Binding: The Meidjo
Boots: Scarpa TX Pro NTN
Favourite Ski Area: Chamonix
Favourite off-piste itineraries: Heliskiing in Canada
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